Shareholders of the defunct Intercontinental Bank Plc have asked an Abuja Federal High Court to order the suspended Governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria, Sanusi Lamido Sanusi, to pay them N10bn as damages over what they described as the fraudulent banking and investment practices and breaches involved in the sale of the bank.
The plaintiffs, Abdullahi Sani, Adaeze Onwuegbusi and Chijioke Ezeikpe, in the suit filed by their lawyer, Chris Uche SAN, accused Sanusi of conniving with the Managing Director and Deputy Managing Director, Access Bank Plc, Aigboje Aig-Imokhuede, Herbert Wigwe, and Senator Bukola Saraki, to sell the bank in a bid to confer corrupt advantage upon themselves.
The CBN and the Securities and Exchange Commission were joined as defendants in the suit, which came up before Justice Ahmed Mohammed on Tuesday.
Justice Mohammed granted an ex-parte motion in which the plaintiffs sought leave to serve the suit on Sanusi by pasting copies of the originating summons at the headquarters of the CBN.
The plaintiffs also urged the court to order the CBN to immediately recover the sums of N16.2bn and N8.9bn, together with accrued interests, being owed Intercontinental Bank by Aig-Imokhuede, Wigwe and Saraki.
The court was asked to declare that the takeover of Intercontinental Bank by Access Bank on the instructions of the Sanusi “without any lawful justification whatsoever in a bid to confer corrupt advantage upon himself and his friends/associates/cronies” was illegal, null and void.
In the same vein, the plaintiffs asked the court to order SEC to conduct a detailed public investigation into the circumstances surrounding the acquisition on Intercontinental Bank by Access Bank.
In an affidavit in support of the originating summons, the plaintiffs averred that as of August 2009, Intercontinental Bank had a paid up capital of N230bn and a balance sheet of N1.6bn, 330 branches nationwide, 10 subsidiaries and 12,000 workers.